ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 154


one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all
the parts are glad.
All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. Here
are some of the parts God has appointed for the church:
first are apostles,
second are prophets,
third are teachers,
then those who do miracles,
those who have the gift of healing,
those who can help others,
those who have the gift of leadership,
those who speak in unknown languages.
Are we all apostles? Are we all prophets? Are we all teachers? Do we all
have the power to do miracles? Do we all have the gift of healing? Do we all
have the ability to speak in unknown languages? Do we all have the ability
to interpret unknown languages? Of course not! So you should earnestly
desire the most helpful gifts.
But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all.
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love
others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift
of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all
knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t
love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and
even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others,
I would have gained nothing.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or
rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no
record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices
whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge
will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the
whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things
will become useless.
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But
when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly,
like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with
perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I
will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

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